There are not many aspects of modern Twenty-first Century life in America that allow one to do just as you like, the way you like it and to disregard the legitimate interests of others. The rules of modern life are the laws we have made, and there are a lot of them.
There are state statutes, administrative regulations, rules, policies, inspectors, building codes, rules of professional ethics, ordinances, orders, occupational licensing, competency examinations, insurance requirements, permits, complaints, enforcement proceedings, fines and penalties.
There are police, prosecutors, arrests, courts, judges, advocates, lawyers, jailers, constables, sheriffs, process servers, bail bonds, juries, depositions, affidavits, incarceration, trials, hearings, appeals, notices, subpoenas and an occasional execution.
Someone is looking over your shoulder enforcing the rules of the game. The rules are different for private individuals living private lives and for those who engage in commercial business activity in pursuit of money. Even at that, in most locations, you still can’t dynamite a stump in your own back yard just for fun. There are rules.
The rules are there for a reason. Most of the time the rules are there for a good reason. Life works better when everyone plays by the same set of rules.
The rules are all written. There are no secret rules. Everyone has easy access to the rules. You can learn the rules.
The rules apply equally to everyone. You may have a hard time believing this, but they do. Some people, however, understand the rules better, or they can afford to pay for experts.
The better you understand the rules, the fewer problems you will have. Not playing by the rules causes problems for everyone, but mostly it causes problems for the person breaking the rules.
That’s what accountability is all about. Accountability is about knowing the rules, playing by the rules and looking out to be sure others play by the rules too.